Gantt Chart — What is it? And how to use it?

Kevin Chakornsiri
Sep 7, 2019 · 3 min read

One of the important jobs of being a project manager is being able to overview the whole process of the project. Knowing what happened, happening, and going to happen is crucial for a PM to make every decision.

During development, many activities are happening at the same time. PM must control these activities to ensure that they are completed before the deadline. Gantt chart is a very helpful tool to help the user visualize and analyze the progress of all the tasks.

An example of a Gantt Chart

As you can see, all the tasks that needed to be done are on the left side, and the timeline is on the right. A PM will monitor each task day by day and get progress and updates from each team. This helps PM and the team know whether the task can be finished on time.

In this article, we’ll be teaching you on how to create one and use it effectively.

Creating a Gantt Chart

Step 1: Creating/Getting a Template

There are plenty of Gantt Chart templates online that you can download. Choose the one that fits onto your working model. If you’re not sure which one to use, there is a template from us, which you can download it from here.

Alternatively, you can use web/mobile application to set up your own chart. These applications may be more convenient to use and have more features such as cloud syncing, but there may be an additional cost to use some function.

Step 2: Collecting the Tasks

For each division in your team, ask them to list the essentials tasks and the duration of it to you. Ask them to identify whether the task is “sequential/linear” or “parallel”.

- A “sequential/linear” task is a task that is dependent on the previous task. In other word, you cannot work on it unless the previous task is completed.

- A “parallel” task is a task that can be done at the same time as other tasks.

Being able to identify both types of task can help optimize the time it takes to complete a project.

Step 3: Inputting the Tasks

You can use a template (Excel, Google Sheets, Numbers, etc.) or other programs (Trello, Gantter, etc.) depending on your workload. The first few columns should be the task lists, where each roll represents each task.

A task with its subtask

On the right, a timeline of each day is created where the colored block represents the duration of which the task is being worked on. It’s recommended that each task has its own individual color so that it can be clearly identified.

Step 4: Follow and monitor each day/week with the team

Once all the tasks have been set up, insert a vertical pole (long thin rectangle shape) to indicate which day we’re in.

A red line indicates the current date

Every day/week, PM will hold a meeting and track whether anyone is behind the schedule. The plan can always be shifted when needed to. This allows everyone in the team to clearly see all the process of the work.

In conclusion, Gantt Chart is a very useful management tool to let a team oversee the project’s workflow. Not only can it let the team plan of time, but also check whether everything is going according to plan. It’s a very easy thing to set up and requires little effort to make it works, as there is plenty of online template or application that can be used.

Thinc.

Thinc.

Thinc.

Thinc. is a student run organization whose aim is to incubate students for making impact to society by using IT development.

Kevin Chakornsiri

Written by

Thinc.

Thinc. is a student run organization whose aim is to incubate students for making impact to society by using IT development.